Sunday, January 1, 2017

Right Now


Flipping the calendar finds a lot of us pretty much 
flipped out ourselves!
Seismic social, political and spiritual shifts are
disrupting, even destroying, 
the way things are, 
or we thought they were,
or at least what we thought they should be.
That goes for the price of gas to the threat of
trade, if not nuclear, war.

The toxin of fear pollutes our spirits.
It destabilizes self and society.
Can’t we settle down into the safety and security
we had back in the 90’s, or was it the 70’s, 
surely not the 60’s, perhaps the 50’s?

We can’t and it wasn’t!

So, can we stabilize at all out here 
on the street of Right Now?
Is there anything that can support spirituality for street life 2017
in our exile?

Well, being centered in the “right now “
would be a big help.
We can’t stabilize in a past or a future.
They don’t exist “right now.”
So, it really is “now or nothing.”
That means recognizing and dealing
with what’s coming down “right now.”
That’s where we are and how it is,
a mix of terrible and terrific.

The ancient Israelites knew the mix and spelled it out in
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens
a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Most of us wouldn’t want it or wouldn’t write it like that,
but like that it is!
The big question is
are we here and now
in the middle of the muddle
as it is?
As Walter Cronkite used to say
at the end of the CBS Evening News:
“And that’s the way it was…”
O.K., you never heard of Walter Cronkite,
but do hear what he
and the writer of Ecclesiastes said about how
the agony and the ecstasy,
the pain and pleasure of it,

The shrinks tell us
the hardest thing to deal with is
It floods us with fear.
As we awake to the right now of2017
there is ambiguity and fear all over the place:
How stable is my job (if I have one)
and my savings (if I have any)?

What will the new president’s
personality, character and modus operandi
mean for American life and world order?

Will North Carolina have a bathroom for

Will Baptist, Methodist and Catholics
ever get around to celebrating and supporting
marriage and family life for all gender people?

What will happen to the 40% of millennials
still living with their parents?

Will we stay stuck in strident
black and white or can we move and merge
to full color transmission of national life?

Will terrorists drive a truck through
the Fourth of July Parade or
blow up our church next Christmas Eve?

Will all the ill get care?

Can we get civil, or do we bully on?

Its like running a marathon
in the smog of ambiquity and fear.
It destabilizes and stalls.

So, the choice is to go into depression -
financial, personal, spiritual, social -
or be like the heroes of history and
deal with the shifting sands of fearful ambiguity
knowing that underneath all that is
Rock Solid Reality.
It is our base of operations no matter
the fearful ambiguity
cluttering the surface of things.

Paul was so right.
Referencing that Rock Solid Reality
and identifying
Ultimate Goodness
( long for g-o-d)
He said:
“In him we live and move and have our being.”
Acts 17: 28
We are not adrift and baseless.
We are rooted in Being,
anchored in Reality,
alive in an Energy Field
whose center is everywhere
and whose circumference is nowhere.
( Bonaventure )
Talk about finding yourself!
And find ourselves we must.
That’s essential spiritual growth.
As contemplatives,
we recognize, accept, exalt
in who we are and how we are.
We are life in Life.
In that Life we do, as Paul says,
come alive,
are energized into movement
of every sort,
and we “be’ in Being Itself.
That’s indestructible, and unmovable,
Rock Solid Reality,
no matter the fearsome ambiquity on the surface of
our everyday life out here
on the street of Right Now.
So based, we are of a piece
and draw from
The Source.
Aware, connected and open
we are enspirited.
Spirituality for street life 2017:

Not only do we go deep, or go under,
we go together
we go broken and breaking
all by ourselves.
Being part of a for real community
is essential
for a spirituality up for life
out here on
Right Now Street
We just will not make it trying to live as
crowed strangers.
By nature we are
social individuals.
That’s real as in
Yet, we have pushed
the individualism button
so hard and so often that we end up in an
isolation ward,
in self-imposed
solitary confinement
and it is maddening.
A small community in which
to be and do
life together
is a sine qua non
for spiritual viability
in today’s conflicted, ambiguous
and frightening environment.
To be real means
That’s a community in which
we are invited to be
who we are and how we are
and we invite others likewise.
We get together frequently.
We regularly share meals.
We do Soul Share and Care.
We help each other out.
We recreate together.
We generously work together
for the good of for those beyond our community.
We share Word and Sacrament.
in the Right Now,
connected to the Source
based on the bedrock Reality ,
life in community
-a 2017 Street Spirituality-

So, we flip the calendar to 2017 and
find ourselves pretty well flipped as well.
Will somebody somewhere push the nuclear button
and “fast backward”  what’s left of us to
primitive cave dwellers?
Will our racial rift tear us to sharp shreds,
or will we weave a tapestry of delightful diversity?
Will we get real about our planet,
or will we continue to sow seeds of destruction
for our children’s inheritance?
The new administration is set to change a whole lot.
Will that whole lot mean “Hole” or “Whole”?
Will our economy
Fly or crash,
ShopRite or breadline?
Can we outgrow
our adolescent babble, fluff and bullying
and mature ourselves and our media
to the point of being really “social”?
Well, it depends on our base.

Jesus tells a lot of good stories
( Irish genes, no doubt! ).
What a message in this medium.
He shared a great story one’s base.
A man built a house on sand.
The wind and rains came and
down went that habitation.
Another man built a house on rock.
The wind and rains came and
that habitation stayed stable and solid.
So will we if
we live in the now,
are based on the Rock of Reality,
share life in community.
build a habitation that is
Rock Solid
no matter the social, political spiritual shifts
and the consequent
ambiguity and fear
that fog the immediacy of things.

Hey, thanks for the company.
As you go through all this please know that
this little old man
prays for you all each day
(not on my knees anymore, but so surely from my heart).
Holding each and everyone of you in
God’s Dear Love,

John Frank